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Western Rail Plan

Fast, high-capacity rail

for our regional cities
and growing suburbs
A changing Victoria
Victoria is the fastest growing state in Australia, The regions generate $72 billion in economic
with Melbourne’s population expected to grow activity contributing almost 20 per cent to the
from 5 million today to 8 million by 2051. Central state’s overall economy, and a third of Victoria’s
Melbourne is expected to become Australia’s total exports. While the state’s manufacturing
largest business centre with jobs projected to sector will remain a key driver for jobs, our
more than double to almost 900,000 by 2051. economy is projected to continue to shift towards
knowledge-based services – and the distribution of
Geelong is the nation’s second fastest growing city
employment across Victoria is expected to change
and other regional centres including Ballarat and
as a result.
Bendigo are also growing fast. Victoria is uniquely
placed with five regional cities within around 200 This population and jobs growth have seen
kilometres of central Melbourne, all connected by rail. demand for peak hour metropolitan rail services
increase by 61 per cent since 2004, with a similar
Regional Victoria continues to be a driving
growth rate expected in the next decade. On the
force behind the state’s economic prosperity. It
regional rail network, patronage has increased
is home to one in four Victorians and accounts
almost two-fold over the past decade and similar
for 700,000 jobs.
growth is forecast over the next 10 years.

This document sets out the future
investments Victoria needs for a
fast, high-capacity rail network Growing Regional Victoria
servicing our growing suburbs These next-stage
and regional cities. investments, including the
It outlines a plan for more reliable and frequent Melbourne Airport Rail Link
metropolitan and regional services, connecting and proposed Suburban 700,000 Home to one in
our cities and our people to each other, and
Rail Loop, would change
building on the major overhaul of metropolitan
and regional rail networks currently underway the way our network jobs four Victorians
across Victoria. operates forever. Together
Extensive investment is underway in Victoria to with this plan for high-
achieve a generational shift in the operation of our
rail network, including transformational projects capacity metro services
like the Metro Tunnel, level crossing removals, the in Melbourne’s west and
recently completed rail extension to Mernda and fast rail to regional cities,
the Regional Rail Revival currently underway to
upgrade every regional passenger line in the state. Victoria’s public transport
network would be re-drawn.
While projects currently under construction will Responsible for a third of Victoria’s total exports
create a more reliable network and boost frequency
and capacity, Victoria’s growth requires a continued
investment pipeline to connect Victorians.

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Next steps to deliver
Record rail investment
Over the last two decades, a significant
Victoria’s future rail network
series of investments have been made in
the regional rail network. Regional Fast Despite the record investment 1 Two new electrified metropolitan rail lines
Rail saw the major upgrade of the rail through the western suburbs to growth areas
lines to Ballarat, Geelong, Bendigo and underway and projects identified for in Melton and Wyndham Vale, separating
Traralgon to increase services, reduce the future, there are still constraints them from the Ballarat and Geelong lines.
travel times and improve safety. It saw the This would give Melbourne’s growing suburbs
introduction of modern, VLocity trains onto
to improving service frequencies frequent high-capacity services on the metro
the regional network. across metropolitan and regional network, and return regional rail lines to regional
The Regional Rail Link project delivered areas. The unprecedented population passengers, creating the potential to run faster
services. A potential connection from Wyndham
47.5 kilometres of new railway through the and patronage growth in the outer Vale to Werribee would also be considered – with
western suburbs of Melbourne to separate
regional services from Ballarat, Bendigo
western suburbs is leading to over- the potential for this link to become the western
crowding and reliability challenges. section of the proposed Suburban Rail Loop.
and Geelong from electrified Melbourne
suburban services. The project played a key To ensure the Victorian rail network can continue
role in increasing rail capacity, frequency to meet unprecedented demand and enable 2 Increased track capacity between Sunshine
and reliability on these lines. The V/Line regional Victoria to grow and be a destination of and the CBD to cater for faster and more
rail network now carries nearly 50,000 choice, planning is needed for the following three frequent metro and regional trains. This will be
passengers on a typical weekday, an major connected projects: developed in conjunction with the Airport Rail
increase of nearly 100 per cent in the past Link which would also utilise the extra capacity.
decade, with patronage forecast to double
again over the next 10 years. The completion
of Regional Fast Rail in 2006 and Regional
3 Major investment in the Geelong and
Ballarat lines – in addition to the separation
Rail Link in 2015 has contributed to this rapid of the Melton and Wyndham Vale lines –
growth, together with population growth in to run trains faster than 160km/h. This will
outer Melbourne and regional areas. include exploration of electrification of these
The delivery of the Metro Tunnel project
With significant patronage growth and and Regional Rail Revival program support lines and new, fast electric regional trains.
a rapidly growing state, the Victorian the Regional Network Development Plan to
Government is now undertaking a record achieve a 20-minute peak and 40-minute
transport infrastructure investment. Today off peak service to regional centres, and five
there are more than $38 billion worth of services per day to outer regional centres
major transport infrastructure projects (and at least nine to Shepparton).
underway or in planning across the
The Government has also:
state, including:
• Begun planning for a Melbourne Airport Rail
• The $1.75 billion Regional Rail Revival
Link - connecting Melbourne Airport
program – an upgrade to every regional
to all metropolitan and regional rail lines
passenger line in the state and delivery of
via Sunshine.
modern regional trains to achieve more
frequent and reliable services. • Proposed a Suburban Rail Loop – a
rail network forming a circle around
• The Metro Tunnel – unlocking the
Melbourne’s suburbs, with 12 new
bottleneck in the city loop as a first step
underground stations and three regional
towards a metro-style system.
super hubs at Sunshine, Broadmeadows
• An extensive program to remove dangerous and Clayton.
and congested level crossings, as well as
upgrades to regional level crossings.
• The biggest ever procurement of new
metropolitan and regional rolling stock.

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Victoria's future rail network

Planning for SWAN HILL
the future SRL
The key priority is Fawkner section
untangling the regional MARYBOROUGH
and metropolitan rail lines ARARAT Reservoir
in Melbourne’s west by Melbourne
delivering new separate Airport Bundoora
metro lines and giving New
regional trains and lines BALLARAT Heidelberg
to regional passengers. Fast MELTON lines
Ballarat Doncaster
The Airport Rail Link, including line Airport Metro
a new super hub at Sunshine, Rail Link Tunnel
provides an opportunity to Box Hill
deliver the infrastructure
needed to make this happen.
Planning for the future rail Fast Sunshine South-east
network is needed for: Geelong Super Hub section
line CBD
✓ The Airport Rail Link and New
GEELONG Sunshine
the Sunshine Super Hub to CBD Burwood
✓ New metropolitan lines to access
Melton and Wyndham Vale BAIRNSDALE
✓ Fast Rail to Geelong Werribee
✓ Fast Rail to Ballarat
✓ Fast Rail to other regional Glen Waverley TRARALGON
cities in the future
✓ New rail access from WARRNAMBOOL Monash
Sunshine and the CBD
✓ The proposed Suburban
Rail Loop with three regional Clayton
super hubs.

Proposed Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) Potential new
(subject to further detailed technical
interchange stations
investigations and consultations) Metropolitan area

Potential new stations Existing interchange

station and customer
South-east section (tunnel) service hub
North-east section (tunnel) Regional area
North-west section Regional Line
(Airport Rail Link — sections
of tunnel & surface rail) Suburban Rail Loop
regional super hub
Potential for integration as
western section of SRL Not to scale,
Lorem ipsum for illustrative purposes only

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Western section of Suburban Rail Loop
1 N
 ew metropolitan lines By connecting a new Wyndham Vale line to Werribee there is
to Melton and Wyndham Vale potential for this new rail link to form the western section of the
the proposed Suburban Rail Loop. Planning for both projects
Two new electrified metropolitan New electrified metropolitan rail lines to Melton would explore the best network option to connect the west to
rail lines through the western and Wyndham Vale is the next step to boosting this new proposed loop.
capacity on the Victorian rail network. This will
suburbs to growth areas in Melton improve travel times, accommodate increasing
and Wyndham Vale, separating patronage and deliver greater comfort for regional
them from the Ballarat and and metropolitan passengers.
Geelong lines. This would give The patronage growth on the Melton and
Melbourne’s growing suburbs Wyndham Vale corridors is significant.
frequent high-capacity services Currently, Melbourne’s growing western suburbs Melton and Wyndham monthly patronage
on the metro network, and return are only serviced by regional rail lines – leaving
them without access to the metro network. Instead
regional rail lines to regional they utilise space in regional trains and prevent
passengers, creating the potential fast, express services from Geelong or Ballarat. Melton patronage
to run faster services. A potential Fast rail services to Geelong and Ballarat are not
connection from Wyndham possible without new Melton and Wyndham metro
Vale to Werribee would also be lines. New metro lines to Melton and Wyndham
would cater for patronage growth in Melbourne's
considered – with the potential for
west and give our two busiest regional rail lines back
this link to become the western
BENDIGO to regional passengers, paving the way for fast rail 2015 2018
section of the proposed Suburban from Geelong and Ballarat. SEYMOUR 75,000 129,000
Rail Loop. WODONGA

Wyndham patronage

2015 2018

95,000 166,000

Monthly boardings


Super Hub 80000

New 60000

Aug 15

Oct 15

Dec 15

Feb 16

Apr 16

Jun 16

Aug 16

Oct 16

Dec 16

Feb 17

Apr 17

Jun 17

Aug 17

Oct 17

Dec 17

Feb 18

Apr 18
to CBD
access Melton Wyndham
Source: Transport for Victoria

TRARALGON| Western Rail Plan 9

2 Increased capacity
from Sunshine to CBD
Increased track capacity Sunshine has the potential to become a major
hub and interchange between metropolitan and
between Sunshine and the regional rail services and a gateway to Melbourne
CBD to cater for faster and Airport via a new rail link.
more frequent metro and But right now, there is limited available space for
regional trains. This will be additional tracks between Sunshine and Southern
Cross. Extra track capacity will be needed in the
developed in conjunction future to deliver new metro lines, the Airport Rail
with the Airport Rail Link Link and fast rail services to our regional cities.
which would also utilise Work is needed to identify options to increase
the extra capacity. rail capacity between a future Airport Rail Link
and Sunshine Super Hub and the city, including a
possible new rail tunnel from Sunshine to the CBD.
This planning will take place in conjunction with
the development of the Airport Rail Link.






Super Hub
GEELONG Sunshine
to CBD

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3 Planning for fast rail Geelong Line annual patronage
to regional cities 4500000

The Victorian Government invested $50 million in

4000000 • Regional Rail Link opens
Major investment in the • Wyndham Vale Station opens
the 2018/19 Budget for detailed planning to achieve
Geelong and Ballarat lines – true high-speed rail to Geelong, followed by other 3500000 • Tarneit Station opens
in addition to the separation regional cities.

Annual boardings
of the Melton and Wyndham This document is a result of that work identifying 3000000

Vale lines – to run trains additional investments - including the separation and
electrification of the Wyndham Vale and Melton lines
faster than 160km/h. This and additional track capacity between Sunshine and

will include exploration the city - needed to deliver high speed regional rail in
the future. 2000000
of electrification of these
lines and new, fast electric There are efficiencies in planning for fast rail to
both Geelong and Ballarat in tandem, with delivery 1500000
regional trains. to Geelong remaining the highest strategic need
due to the city's growing population. In planning for 1000000
fast rail to these regional centres, all options would
be considered.
This includes electrification to Geelong
and Ballarat with fast, electric regional trains.
2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18

BENDIGO Rail patronage along the Geelong Line

(including South Geelong growth area - Waurn Ponds, Marshall, and South Geelong)
Source: Transport for Victoria


Fast MELTON lines

Fast WERRIBEE Sunshine

Geelong Super Hub
line CBD
GEELONG Sunshine
to CBD


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Faster and more reliable travel for Victoria
We are investing in faster and more North East
reliable travel to all corners of our The North East line upgrade will enable improved
state with upgrades to every regional services for north-east Victoria. The upgrade will
enable VLocity trains to run to Albury/Wodonga MARYBOROUGH
passenger line as part of the $1.75 for the first time, delivering a more reliable and ARARAT
billion Regional Rail Revival program. comfortable service for passengers.
We are also looking at future regional
Warrnambool New
service improvements. BALLARAT
The Warrnambool line upgrade will lead to metro
While delivering fast rail to Geelong and Ballarat is
improved train services, with works to include a lines
the first priority, upgrades are already underway
new crossing loop, level and pedestrian crossing
for faster, more frequent and reliable rail to other line
upgrades and improved signalling between Waurn
regional cities.
Ponds and Warrnambool. This will allow for a WYNDHAM VALE
fifth daily return service between Warrnambool
Bendigo and Melbourne and help pave the way for VLocity
The Bendigo and Echuca line upgrade will trains on the line.
Fast WERRIBEE Sunshine
enable faster and more frequent services to
Echuca through track and signalling upgrades. Shepparton Geelong Super Hub
line CBD
The project will also upgrade signalling between The Shepparton corridor upgrade will deliver faster New
Epsom, Eaglehawk and Bendigo to deliver and more frequent services and will allow modern GEELONG Sunshine
Bendigo Metro Stage Two, giving passengers VLocity trains to travel to and from Shepparton for to CBD
a metro-style train service. the first time. The stabling upgrade as part of Stage
To facilitate fast rail to Bendigo in the future, dedicated One will enable a fifth daily return service between
tracks between Sunshine and Watergardens to Shepparton and Melbourne in 2019. Stage Two of
separate Sunbury and Bendigo services are likely to the upgrade will allow VLocity trains to run to and
be needed. This would increase reliability and reduce from Shepparton for the first time with planning
travel times, as the first step towards a true fast work underway to deliver up to nine return services.
To facilitate faster and more reliable services to
rail service for the region. Track upgrades between
Shepparton in the future, there is a need to electrify
Kyneton and Sunbury would be needed to provide
the track to Wallan to enable the introduction of high
consistent high speeds on both lines, run more WARRNAMBOOL
capacity metro services to the Northern growth corridor.
services and improve journey times.
This would increase capacity and reliability and reduce
travel times along the corridor, as well as being a key
step towards a true fast rail service for the region.
Potential new stations Metropolitan area
The Gippsland Line upgrade will enable much
needed extra services on the Gippsland line.
Improved train detection at level crossings along the
Next steps Potential new
interchange stations
Existing interchange
station and customer
service hub
line will improve safety for motorists and trains and Suburban Rail Loop
allow VLocity trains to run to (subject to further detailed technical Regional area
The development
investigations of
and a full business
Further planning on fast rail will take place in
Swan Hill Bairnsdale. The replacement Regional
conjunction withLine
the full Airport Rail Link business
of the Avon River bridge will case is requiredSouth-east
to progress fast rail
section (tunnel) case, due
Suburban Rail Loop in 2019/20.
to be completed
mean trains no longer need North-east section
towards construction. That work will (tunnel)
regional super
It is anticipated hubthree major network
that the
to slow down to 10km per hour North-west section
Albury in this section. be informed by(Airport
this Rail
Link — sections and changes identified in this document would be
further technical studies.
of tunnel & surface rail) undertaken in stages and take around a decade
South-west section toNot
to scale,
Bendigo (sections of tunnel & surface rail) for illustrative purposes only
Major regional track upgrades are already
Maryborough occuring as part of the Regional Rail Revival. It is
Ararat likely that the next step in delivering fast regional
rail will be the separation of Wyndham Vale and
Ballarat Melton lines from regional lines, returning regional
Melbourne Bairnsdale
lines to regional passengers.
Geelong Additional capacity between the CBD and
Traralgon Sunshine is being examined as part of Airport Rail
and is being contemplated as part of that project,
which is targeted to begin construction in 2022.

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